AROUND THE VALLEY
Lawrence Partnership’s Revolving Test Kitchen Officially Opens for Business
The Lawrence Partnership announced that the Revolving Test Kitchen (RTK) is now officially open for business and is accepting new food entrepreneur members.
The RTK is a shared culinary workspace in Lawrence, complete with multiple prep and cook spaces and dry and cold storage. Supported by experts in food and business, the RTK offers a workspace for local food entrepreneurs, helping them collaborate, curate ideas, and launch their local dreams.
Located on Common Street in Lawrence, the RTK will accommodate a cross section of food businesses including food trucks, catering companies, small batch manufacturers and food delivery companies.
The kitchen is open for food production from 4 a.m. to midnight with optional 24-hour access. Interested in utilizing this space? Visit here to learn more.
MCC Named a 2021 Best for Vets College
Middlesex Community College (MCC) was named one of the 2021 Best for Vets: Colleges by the Military Times. MCC ranked number one in the northeast for public, general education two-year schools, and number 16 in the country for two-year schools overall.
The Military Times’ ranking provides veteran and military-connected students with information on a college’s type of institution, region, accreditation status and overall percentage rating based on survey results, according to Jessica Frost, director of the Veterans Resource Center (VRC).
MCC supports veterans and their families through the VRC, a Veterans Advisory Board, and other special veteran services. The college also partners with the school certifying officials, student accounts and other student support areas to serve veteran and military-connected (National Guard and Reservists, active military and spouse/dependents of veterans) students, according to Frost.
Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Hosts Book Drive for Ruth’s House
This September, Jaffarian Volvo Toyota is partnering with Ruth’s House, a non-profit thrift store in Haverhill, for a book drive in memory of Sara Jaffarian’s birthday. Jaffarian invites the customers, vendors and employees to donate new or gently used children’s books from preschool to 8th-grade reading levels. Book donations will be accepted at the showroom during business hours.
Sarah Jaffarian began her career as a librarian for the Quincy school system. She later served as the director of libraries for the Greensboro, N.C., public school system, a supervisor of libraries for the Seattle, W.A. public school system, and held numerous offices and committee appointments. In 1961, she returned to her home state to design and develop a school library program in Lexington, M.A. Under her leadership, an Encyclopedia Britannica School Library Award was given to the Lexington Public Schools in 1964. Jaffarian supported many worthy causes, including the senior reading room at the Haverhill Public Library, the Advent Christian Church elevator and kitchen renovations, and the Armenian Church at Hye Pointe in Haverhill.
Brady Sullivan Properties Purchases Tax Credits in Support of Palace Theatre
Brady Sullivan Properties pledged $63,000 to purchase N.H. Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA) tax credits in support of Palace Youth Theatre’s Forever Emma Studios.
This pledge will support safety and accessibility improvements at Emma Studios, including the installation of a lift and ramp at the facility. Palace Youth Theatre has always demonstrated a strong commitment and benefit to the community by increasing access to the performing arts for youth.
Trahan, MCC Leaders Highlight American Rescue Plan Funding
U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan joined with Middlesex Community College (MCC) President Phil Sisson for a roundtable discussion on how the $13,699,521 in American Rescue Plan relief funding awarded to MCC is being put to use. The Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund III Award for Students was $6.9 million and $6.7 million for the institution.
The American Rescue Plan included a total of $36 billion for nearly 3,500 public and private nonprofit colleges, and universities nationwide, including nearly $82 million for institutions of higher education in the Massachusetts third district. MCC received more than $13.6 million of that funding.
At least half of the funding is required to be disbursed to students in the form of cash grants for housing, food, or other necessary expenses. It is also being used to address financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. MCC has focused much of its efforts with the most recent round of federal relief on financial assistance for students, including debt forgiveness of $4.3 million from HEERF Institutional Funds, but has also worked to distribute technology and address food insecurity for students in need. The HEERF III Student Funding of $6.9 million is being disbursed on a semester basis to students and will continue through the Fall of 2022.
Lowell Review Seeks Submissions for Second Issue
The Lowell Review, a new publication springing from the RichardHowe.com blog, will be accepting submissions for their second issue through the end of October. While they are eager for younger writers, the Lowell Review team is open to all themes and welcomes contributors from Lowell and beyond. The issue will appear in early 2022.
The publication shares the stories and creative works of “Voices from Lowell and Beyond” and offers a space for creative and intellectual expression. It brings together writers and readers in the Merrimack River watershed and connects them with those who share their curiosity about the small and large matters of life. Each issue includes essays, poems, stories, criticism, opinion and visual art.
Visit here to check out the first issue, which features the works of a number of MVM contributors, including Paul Marion, Doug Sparks and Charles Gargiulo.
MOVERS & SHAKERS
JDCU Names SVP & Chief Marketing Officer and AVP Community Engagement Officer
Robin Lorenzen joined Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union (JDCU) in 2019 as marketing director. In her role as senior vice president — chief marketing officer, Lorenzen will continue to oversee marketing and financial education, community engagement and the We Share A Common Thread Foundation. The Framingham State College alum brings an extensive marketing background having spent 28 years working in media. Lorenzen lives in Medway, Mass., with her husband and two daughters.
Alison Hughes has been promoted to assistant vice president — community engagement officer. Hughes joined JDCU in 2017 and has been heavily involved with hundreds of local non-profits in the greater Lowell area. She is the driving force behind the We Share a Common Thread annual fundraiser and has created many initiatives and partnerships such as the “Smile Station” for Lowell General Hospital, “Reading with Rowdy”, and the TEAM 2020 fundraiser. Hughes is a George Washington University alum and currently resides in Dracut, Mass., with her three children.
MCC Staff Member Chosen for National Presidential Fellowship for Community College Leaders
Arlene Rodríguez, interim provost and vice president of academic and student affairs at Middlesex Community College (MCC), is one of 40 leaders selected for the 2021-22 class of the Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship, a highly selective leadership program preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success. The Rising Presidents Fellows will embark on the 10-month fellowship beginning in November 2021.
Essex County Community Foundation Elects New Members to the Board of Trustees
Amy Kingman, who was serving on ECCF’s County Leadership Council before being elected to the board, has more than 15 years of experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Prior to launching her own consulting firm, Kingman served as chief executive for both The Learning by Giving Foundation and The Letters Foundation. At Learning by Giving, Kingman directed a coalition of 40 colleges and universities teaching accredited courses on experiential philanthropy and effective volunteerism to 1,000 students annually.
Kiame Mahaniah, a Philadelphia native, spent much of his childhood in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His work has been deeply influenced by the poverty he witnessed there and by his parents, who were dedicated to community-based nonprofit work. After returning to the U.S. and serving a decade of clinical leadership in Lawrence and Salem, N.H., Mahaniah became the chief executive officer of the Lynn Community Health Center, where he is now focused on tackling inequities that not only pervade the healthcare system, but also the everyday lives of his patients.
Jonathan Payson, a retired Wellington Management Company executive, returns to ECCF after serving on the board for nine years, seven of those years as board chair. Payson led the board during an evolutionary phase of growth and increased presence in the county, and his passion and leadership helped to grow ECCF into the regional leader it is today. A former Marine Corps Reserve officer and Gulf War veteran, Payson serves as a volunteer pilot for the Veterans Airlift Command. He is also a dedicated member of the boards of trustees at Endicott College and the Northeast Hospital Corporation, as well as at Root NS, a nonprofit offering youth training and employment opportunities in the foodservice industry.
Amesbury’s Shop Local-Opoly
Amesbury businesses and non-profits have teamed up to organize “Shop Local-Opoly,” encouraging the community to shop local. For the entire month of August, community members can participate in this game, where thirty-two businesses and nonprofits each signed up for a space — called a “property” — on the monopoly-like game board. While the game supports many local businesses, each category also has a property that can only be earned through a $5.00 donation to a particular nonprofit. Click here to access the game board.
Bethany Communities’ Celebration of Innovation and Integration
Support Bethany Communities’ development of Merrimack Place, an extension of the Merrivista campus, by attending the Celebration of Innovation and Integration on Thursday, Sept. 9, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Bradford Country Club. The event will include dinner, raffles and a live performance by local band Three Part. Visit here to reserve your spot at the event.
The Longest Table
Don’t miss Haverhill’s most exciting inclusive dining event. The Longest Table will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This a 21+ event, and participating restaurants include 110 Grill, The Barking Dog, Casa Blanca, Essex Street Grille, The Hidden Pig, Krueger Flatbread, Battle Grounds Coffee, and more. Visit here for more information.
Diamonds & Pearls, Cash & Kings Fundraiser
Visit Blue Ocean Music Hall on Friday, Aug. 20, for Jozay and Patti, Diamonds & Pearls, and Cash & Kings, who will perform a benefit concert for the Foster Kids of the Merrimack Valley. Accompanied by a 7-piece band, they will bring you the sounds of artists like Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Cher, Roy Orbison, Carole King and more. Visit here for more information, or click here to purchase tickets.
LGH TeamWalk for CancerCare
Last year, Lowell General Hospital transitioned their annual TeamWalk for CancerCare to TeamWalk on your terms, and the will be continuing this tradition this year. TeamWalk on Your Terms allows you to hold TeamWalk on your turf and on your time. When it is safe and you feel comfortable, simply choose when and where you want to walk. Get your team together for a three or six mile walk on the date and time of your choosing. You can walk until Sept. 1. For details, click here.
MVFB 27th Annual Golf Tournament
The Merrimack Valley Food Bank’s 27th Annual Golf Tournament and Awards Dinner will be held on Monday, Sept. 13, at Indian Ridge Country Club, with registration beginning at 11:00 a.m. The tournament will honor the heroic staff at Lowell General Hospital, and your participation directly supports the MVFB’s mission. Visit here to register.
25th Annual Elder Services Golf Classic
Bring out your inner Phil Mickelson and support a good cause during the 25th Annual Elder Services Golf Classic on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at the Haverhill Golf & Country Club. The event features contents, raffle prizes, a luncheon, a $10,000 putting content, and more. This event sells out on a regular basis so visit here to save your spot today.
19th Annual Mill City Mentors Golf Tournament
Enjoy a day of golf while supporting a good cause during the 19th Annual Mill City Mentors Golf Tournament. The event supports Community Teamwork’s Mill City Mentors program, and takes place on Thursday, Sept. 16, at the Sky Meadow Country Club in Nashua. Click here to learn more.
Tour de Greenbelt: Cycle for Land Conservation
For beginner riders to seasoned cyclists, Essex County Greenbelt’s annual Tour de Greenbelt: Cycle for Land Conservation offers a variety of courses to fit all abilities. Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 18, the ride benefits Greenbelt’s local land conservation work, and cyclists will enjoy routes that wind through the scenic landscapes of Essex County. Click here to learn more and register for the event.
Emmaus Annual Cycle for Shelter
Registration is now open for the 2021 Cycle for Shelter. Join the ride to help raise money to defeat homelessness. This year riders have the option of riding virtually or joining in-person on Sunday, Sept. 19, if COVID restrictions allow. If the in-person ride is limited in numbers due to state restrictions, the event will operate under a “first-come, first-served” model and those who registered first will have the opportunity to participate. Click here to register.
Merrimack Valley Hospice’s Virtual Silent Auction
This year, Merrimack Valley Hospice’s annual food, wine, beer-sampling and silent auction is going virtual. Enjoy a snack and your favorite beverage browsing their auction items from the comfort of home. Proceeds will benefit Merrimack Valley Hospice’s comfort care and supportive services for patients nearing the end of life and bereavement services for their families and loved ones. The auction will run from Thursday, Sept. 23, to Saturday, Sept. 25. Click here for more information.
The Wish Project: Backpack Attack
July 1 through mid-September. New, filled backpacks are distributed to children in need in the Merrimack Valley. For a $60 donation, The Wish Project can provide a complete backpack filled with all of the school supplies that a child needs to begin school. Learn more here.
29th Annual Trot for Special Tots 5K Road Race
The Professional Center for Child Development, a local non-profit, will host its 29th Annual 5K Road Race – Trot for Special Tots, on Saturday, Oct 2, at 32 Osgood Street in Andover. The event spreads awareness for the programs they offer, such as early intervention, special education school and child care, and raises funds to support children and families throughout the Merrimack Valley. Click here for more information.
2021 October Fun Fest
Support the Community Giving Tree and have some fun at the October Fun Fest on Saturday, Oct. 2, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This event will feature True North Ales beer truck, the Urban Epicurean mobile pizza oven, and music from the local band RevelUp. All proceeds from this event will support Community Giving Tree’s programs that provide everyday essentials to local children in need. Visit here to find out more.
NILP 40th Anniversary Gala
Join the NILP as they celebrate 40 years of helping people with disabilities reach their independent living goals. The NILP’s annual gala — which features a silent auction, raffles, dinner and dancing — will take place on Saturday, Oct. 23, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Blue Ocean Event Center. Click here to purchase tickets.
Smiles4Families Dental Fund
The Lowell Health Community Center (LCHC) is looking for support for the Smiles4Families Dental Fund. Dental care can be very expensive, and many procedures are not covered by insurance companies. By donating to the Smiles4Families Fund, you will help the LCHC assure that every patient has access to exactly the dental care they need — regardless of ability to pay. Visit here to donate.
Greater Lawrence Summer Fund
Consider providing opportunities for thousands of children this summer by donating to the Greater Lawrence Summer Fund. The fund gives children from low-income families a chance to experience life-changing summer activities that not only keep them safe but provides them with opportunities that open doors for a promising future. Click here to consider helping this community organization.